PANAMA CITY — The most frigid weekend so far this winter could be in store for Bay County residents.
According to Eric Bunker, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, the next few days will be the start of the longest period of freezing or near freezing temperatures that Bay County has experienced this winter.
"We've had spurts of one or two nights near of below freezing temperatures across portions of Bay County throughout the earlier half of the winter, but it hasn't been prolonged like this," Bunker said. "This is certainly the most prolonged cooler weather that we've seen here this winter."
As of Friday afternoon, Bunker said forecasts show Saturday will boast highs in the low 50s, with temperatures set to drop to the upper 20s that night in northern portions of the county.
Highs for Sunday will then also be in the low 50s, bringing near-freezing temperatures that night.
However, there currently are no forecasts that the cold front will bring snow to the area.
Bunker noted that preliminary data shows Bay will then experience another cold front toward the middle of next week that will also bring near freezing temperatures.
"Right now, we have in our temperature grid that we will have low to mid 30s across the county mid week," he said. "We're talking Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and again possibly Thursday night into Friday morning. It does look like we're going to have another round of cooler overnight temperatures."
While Bunker did not know exactly how many times Bay County has logged freezing temperatures so far this winter, he said it has not been more than a handful.
For comparison, Tallahassee typically experiences about 20 freezes per winter, which he said probably is comparable for averages in Bay County.
Bunker also said people should bring their animals inside this weekend, as well as insulate any exposed pipes and plants outside.
"We suggest (that) if temperatures do get into those mid 30s that (people) cover their plants that are sensitive ... and also bring in any pets," he said. "If you're going to be cold, they're going to be cold as well. Given that one of the nights we're looking at (temperatures) in the upper 20s, people who do have exposed pipes outdoors (also should) cover those up with some sort of insulation."
This article originally appeared on The News Herald: Bay County Florida to see period of colder weather over weekend